C. “Social cleansing”

49. In addition to criminals, persons from other sectors of the population whose presence was considered undesirable became the targets of such killings: prostitutes, homosexuals, beggars, drug consumers and street children. The killings are often preceded by torture, allegedly with the purpose of making it impossible to identify the victim (and therefore to carry out an investigation) and sending an intimidatory message to the above sectors. Several sources expressed their concern to the Special Rapporteurs that, over the years, “social cleansing” had become more and more accepted and acceptable, as a solution to the question of how to deal with marginalized sectors of the population. The qualification “desechables” (disposable) for those regarded as undesirable has gained legitimacy.

full text of the Mission report: Mission report-SR Extrajudicial Executions and SR Torture-Colombia-1995-eng

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